Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Their answer is that new coal burning plants should be fitted with, & current ones retrofitted with, carbon capture & storage systems.
The first integrated pilot-scale CCS power plant was to begin operating in September 2008 in the eastern German power plant Schwarze Pumpe in the hope of answering questions about technological feasibility and economic efficiency.
It has been theorised that CCS applied to a modern conventional power plant could reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by approximately 80-90% compared to a plant without CCS. The minor problem that no commercial working systems exist anywhere in the world can also be considered an advantage in that nobody outside the environmental movement can disprove cost figures such as that CCS "currently cost about 20 percent to 25 percent more to build than conventional state-of- the-art coal plant". This might be more difficult to maintain if there were any such plants. Fortunately for Green progressives, with the debate on whether we are suffering catastrophic warming being over, cost is not a consideration. CCS which would cut 90% of CO2 release (thus producing only a little over 10 times as much as nuclear) is , according to politicians of all parties, desirable being potentially a larger industry than oil & gas.
The technical problem with storing 150 million tons of CO2 annually, currently released by the UK, under the North Sea for millions of years is that CO2, being a gas under high pressure, might escape & if there was enough of it, catastrophically on a much larger scale than happened in Africa as a result of volcanic action. Such deaths would not be a result of nasty nuclear or other evil profit making actions but of nice government funded ones & while in an overpopulated world some would consider this as good a way as any to get rid of excess population. However since we don't yet have a progressive political system right wing relatives might be able to object. The possibilities of catastrophic escape are increased by the fact that CO2 can turn into carbonic acid.
Fortunately for the environmental community I have found an answer.
experiment with algae producing liquid fats
I have previously discussed how algae can turn CO2 into liquid fats. All that is required is that the CO2 from coal, gas & oil plants be pumped into sealed but transparent tubes with high fat producing algae & the effect of photosynthesis will turn this pollution into unlimited quantities of liquid fats which can be pumped at normal pressures back into the places under the North Sea formerly occupied by oilfields. With no pressure & no acidic effect geological experience suggests that these liquid fats can be stored there for as long a period as the oil was. All at a cost & level of reliability significantly greater than wind turbines. With the technical improvements I have suggested to make it sustainable I'm sure this could provide far more than the 10,000 jobs for Scotland & presumably millions worldwide the likes of Mr Salmond have promised.